Jump to content

The Forgotten Cartoon Bird


Trevell

Recommended Posts

My favorite team, the Baltimore Orioles, haven't had a winning season since 1997, so lately I've shifted my attention to my favorite logo of all time, The Cartoon Bird. That friendly, smiling, feathered character that perched atop the caps of the Orioles from 1966-1988. But don't let his friendly smirk and soft feathers fool you, he will show no mercy.

During The Birds 23 year tenure, the O's had 19 winning seasons, including 8 Playoff and 6 World Series appearances. The Orioles were the winningest team in all of baseball during the span that The Cartoon Bird donned their caps. If they weren't in it, they were damn close.

OK, enough with Baltimore's long gone winning baseball history, lets get to the actual cap and it's famous logo:

There are actually 3 different versions of The Cartoon Bird cap logo. There are only 2 posted on this site, which is what prompted me to write this post.

First, the 1966 cap:

cartoonbird1.jpg

Classic Cartoon Bird logo on black hat, with orange bill. They used this cap from 1966-1974. It is represented on this site with this beautiful rendition:

orioles66cap.jpg

The only difference I notice between the actual cap logo and this image, is the button on top of the cap is rounded off at the top. On the actual cap, the button is angular, almost a triangle shape.

I've seen this bird used on past replica hats, but for some reason the button on the birds cap was left black and not colored orange. Here is a KM Pro/Mitchel & Ness replica of this cap:

cartoonbirdKM.jpg

In 1975, the Orioles added white panels to the front of the hat and introduced a new bird. The forgotten Cartoon Bird:

cartoon75.jpg

The birds beak is tilted higher upward and there are slight differences in the eyes, button and logo on his cap. There is also black stitching around the white panels.

They also used this bird on an orange paneled cap that was used as an alternate from 1975-1976:

cartoonbirdorange.jpg

orangecartoon.jpg

I've never seen this bird represented correctly on any replica caps. He's represented on this site with this image, which is not also not correct:

cartoonorange.jpg

Moving onto 1977, they continued with the white panels (minus the black stitching) and reduced the size of the bird:

cartoon77.jpg

The O's would wear this cap through the 1988 season.

Here's the image from the site:

cartoonbird.jpg

Everything looks good, except for the logo on the birds cap, which is supposed to be orange, not white. I often see replicas, with the white logo instead of orange, as well.

This is the bird we see on all replica caps and merchandise today. It has taken the place of the '66-'74 bird, as illustrated by this recent, authentic, on-field, turn back the clock model:

authentic.jpg

It's also used on the '75-'76 orange panel replica:

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p302/skyrissian/cartoon75-1.jpg

Well, there you have it, everything I know about the 3 variations of The Cartoon Bird. Rumor has it that the Orioles will bring him back on the caps officially next year. I wonder which version they will use?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 55
  • Created
  • Last Reply

My favorite team, the Baltimore Orioles, haven't had a winning season since 1997, so lately I've shifted my attention to my favorite logo of all time, The Cartoon Bird. That friendly, smiling, feathered character that perched atop the caps of the Orioles from 1966-1988. But don't let his friendly smirk and soft feathers fool you, he will show no mercy.

During The Birds 23 year tenure, the O's had 19 winning seasons, including 8 Playoff and 6 World Series appearances. The Orioles were the winningest team in all of baseball during the span that The Cartoon Bird donned their caps. If they weren't in it, they were damn close.

OK, enough with Baltimore's long gone winning baseball history, lets get to the actual cap and it's famous logo:

There are actually 3 different versions of The Cartoon Bird cap logo. There are only 2 posted on this site, which is what prompted me to write this post.

First, the 1966 cap:

cartoonbird1.jpg

Classic Cartoon Bird logo on black hat, with orange bill. They used this cap from 1966-1974. It is represented on this site with this beautiful rendition:

orioles66cap.jpg

The only difference I notice between the actual cap logo and this image, is the button on top of the cap is rounded off at the top. On the actual cap, the button is angular, almost a triangle shape.

I've seen this bird used on past replica hats, but for some reason the button on the birds cap was left black and not colored orange. Here is a KM Pro/Mitchel & Ness replica of this cap:

cartoonbirdKM.jpg

In 1975, the Orioles added white panels to the front of the hat and introduced a new bird. The forgotten Cartoon Bird:

cartoon75.jpg

The birds beak is tilted higher upward and there are slight differences in the eyes, button and logo on his cap. There is also black stitching around the white panels.

They also used this bird on an orange paneled cap that was used as an alternate from 1975-1976:

cartoonbirdorange.jpg

orangecartoon.jpg

I've never seen this bird represented correctly on any replica caps. He's represented on this site with this image, which is not also not correct:

cartoonorange.jpg

Moving onto 1977, they continued with the white panels (minus the black stitching) and reduced the size of the bird:

cartoon77.jpg

The O's would wear this cap through the 1988 season.

Here's the image from the site:

cartoonbird.jpg

Everything looks good, except for the logo on the birds cap, which is supposed to be orange, not white. I often see replicas, with the white logo instead of orange, as well.

This is the bird we see on all replica caps and merchandise today. It has taken the place of the '66-'74 bird, as illustrated by this recent, authentic, on-field, turn back the clock model:

authentic.jpg

It's also used on the '75-'76 orange panel replica:

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p302/skyrissian/cartoon75-1.jpg

Well, there you have it, everything I know about the 3 variations of The Cartoon Bird. Rumor has it that the Orioles will bring him back on the caps officially next year. I wonder which version they will use?

there was a reason why the o's got rid of the cartoon bird in '88...around that time was when mlb started to wake up from their uniform hangover of the seventies and embrace traditional uniforms and more classic looks...some examples would be.

moving from pullover sans a belts back to button ups

swapping colored uniforms and alternates and reverting to white-home/gray-road

ditching thick cuff trim and pant stripes for blank unis or piping only

ditching cartoonish logos and moving back to traditional ones

from what I remember the a's and the o's were part of the early move back to traditional...the "Athletics" on a plain white jersey provided a much needed relief to the dated look of the mix & match 70's.

right around the same time was when the o's opted to go back to the full bird hat and replaced the stripes with piping thereby creating a much more vintage look...in addition you had teams like the cards and white sox who also started to fall in line.

so here we are again or at least 5 years into it where what's old is new or otherwise the tacky 70's are nostalgic right now as seen by the popularity of mech from the padres ray kroc era and the "mb" era brewers...if the o's do go back to the cartoon bird I think it will be short lived as the o's are following the tail end of the trend and you just can't compete with the classic bird logo over time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

there was a reason why the o's got rid of the cartoon bird in '88...around that time was when mlb started to wake up from their uniform hangover of the seventies and embrace traditional uniforms and more classic looks...some examples would be.

moving from pullover sans a belts back to button ups

swapping colored uniforms and alternates and reverting to white-home/gray-road

ditching thick cuff trim and pant stripes for blank unis or piping only

ditching cartoonish logos and moving back to traditional ones

from what I remember the a's and the o's were part of the early move back to traditional...the "Athletics" on a plain white jersey provided a much needed relief to the dated look of the mix & match 70's.

right around the same time was when the o's opted to go back to the full bird hat and replaced the stripes with piping thereby creating a much more vintage look...in addition you had teams like the cards and white sox who also started to fall in line.

so here we are again or at least 5 years into it where what's old is new or otherwise the tacky 70's are nostalgic right now as seen by the popularity of mech from the padres ray kroc era and the "mb" era brewers...if the o's do go back to the cartoon bird I think it will be short lived as the o's are following the tail end of the trend and you just can't compete with the classic bird logo over time.

Good points, the main point of my post was to discuss the different variations of the cartoon bird, that I didn't think many people would be aware of, but when the O's changed to the ornithologically correct bird in '89, I was all over it. I thought it was the coolest hat ever, and I had to get one. In fact, it was my first authentic cap!

I still like the realistic bird on their primary caps. I also really like the "O's" alternate cap. I was thinking if the O's did bring the cartoon bird back to their caps in some capacity, it would be as a second alternate, like the Brewers and Blue Jays have done with their on-field caps, not as a replacement.

You're right though, the Orioles are way behind on this trend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you consider the batting helmet logos the Orioles used during that era, there are even more differences. Eddie Murray's 1978 Topps card shows him wearing a helmet where the bird has a white line in its beak rather than a black line. Also, the size of the white panel on the helmets changed at some point (although that's not really logo related.)

Rather than repeating myself, I'll link to a post I made about it back in April...

http://boards.sports...dpost&p=1526945

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DSC4057a4578.jpg

Best Baltimore MLB cap. I prefer the O's cap with the current bird logo on the sleeve. I think the old school logo is fun, but anythong other than an alterante/throwback uni worn from time to time would be too much.

One of the worst caps in baseball. The Orioles only need an oriole on their cap, maybe a stylized 'B', but going with an A's ripoff is just plain tacky, even from a strict design standpoint. The real bird looks fine on the cap, or if on the sleeve, then a stylized 'B'. The cartoon bird would be fine for the alt cap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you consider the batting helmet logos the Orioles used during that era, there are even more differences. Eddie Murray's 1978 Topps card shows him wearing a helmet where the bird has a white line in its beak rather than a black line. Also, the size of the white panel on the helmets changed at some point (although that's not really logo related.)

Rather than repeating myself, I'll link to a post I made about it back in April...

http://boards.sports...dpost&p=1526945

Aw man.. the helmets are a whole other mess, but in my research, I think I may have found out why. It's because some of the helmet logos are hand painted, while others were affixed with a decal.

The painted logos ranged from really good:

1966-1974BlairA.jpg

1975-1988BlairA.jpg

To really bad:

Cuellar1966-1974Autow-FlapA100_5041.jpg

1975-1988SingletonA.jpg

And here's a helmet with the decal:

eddiedecalhelmet.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DSC4057a4578.jpg

Best Baltimore MLB cap. I prefer the O's cap with the current bird logo on the sleeve. I think the old school logo is fun, but anythong other than an alterante/throwback uni worn from time to time would be too much.

One of the worst caps in baseball. The Orioles only need an oriole on their cap, maybe a stylized 'B', but going with an A's ripoff is just plain tacky, even from a strict design standpoint. The real bird looks fine on the cap, or if on the sleeve, then a stylized 'B'. The cartoon bird would be fine for the alt cap.

LMAO...sooooo Oakland is the ONLY team that can do that even though the Orioles nickname is the "O's"? That's funny. That's like saying the Mets must use a scripted "M" since the Yankess use "NY". C'mon man. That hat looks great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DSC4057a4578.jpg

Best Baltimore MLB cap. I prefer the O's cap with the current bird logo on the sleeve. I think the old school logo is fun, but anythong other than an alterante/throwback uni worn from time to time would be too much.

One of the worst caps in baseball. The Orioles only need an oriole on their cap, maybe a stylized 'B', but going with an A's ripoff is just plain tacky, even from a strict design standpoint. The real bird looks fine on the cap, or if on the sleeve, then a stylized 'B'. The cartoon bird would be fine for the alt cap.

LMAO...sooooo Oakland is the ONLY team that can do that even though the Orioles nickname is the "O's"? That's funny. That's like saying the Mets must use a scripted "M" since the Yankess use "NY". C'mon man. That hat looks great.

Not the same thing. And the O's is terrible mainly because it just looks terrible. It's pointless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

227830_565078147048_34701836_32032446_7197634_n.jpg

This is a New Era re-release that I bought. It doesn't have that New Era logo on the side and the back doesn't have the MLB logo. It's my favorite Orioles cap. This is the 1983 World Series one if I recall.

That's the one cartoon cap repro out there that is pretty much an exact replica.

Here's the actual game worn version, also made by New Era:

100_0160.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DSC4057a4578.jpg

Best Baltimore MLB cap. I prefer the O's cap with the current bird logo on the sleeve. I think the old school logo is fun, but anythong other than an alterante/throwback uni worn from time to time would be too much.

I really like this cap too, I think it looks great. It just seems like a natural. I always thought it was cool that the Orioles are one of the only teams that don't use a letter on their caps. I don't consider "O's" a letter, it's a nickname. Let Boston keep their B, we don't need it.

I also agree about using the Cartoon Bird logo as an alternate, if they were to bring it back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Orioles only need an oriole on their cap, maybe a stylized 'B'

oriolesb.jpg

This would work, unless there's some objection that Boston and Baltimore both start with B and can't both have B hats lest someone think this is a Halloween Red Sox fashion cap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a stylized Old English "B" cap that the Orioles sell in their clubhouse shop but I can't seem to find online. I used to have a pic but can't locate it at the moment. That would be infinitely preferable to the "O's".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.